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Realigning Technology as an Enabler for Accelerated Customer Engagement in Banking

Business Process Services

September 10, 2021

Providing a great customer experience requires a culture and mindset of moving from customer satisfaction to a deeper level of customer engagement to extreme customer delight and finally to customer advocacy. It also requires the human touch for a great degree of personalization. When this has to be done at a huge scale, uniformly and consistently then technology becomes the biggest enabler. An enterprise or a small and medium business (SMB) which has that customer focus, can also easily adopt and ensure adaptation to such technologies that enable them to scale and manage the best experiences for a huge client base.

Customer expectations are evolving at such a rapid pace that whatever design and applications were greatly appreciated in 2015 is slowly becoming a “pain” now, for example mobile banking might become a secondary choice a few years from now due to the “app fatigue” of most users.

The kind of technology that becomes a real enabler for bettering customer experience is one that:

  • helps you reach out to the customer instead of the customer having to come to you
  • makes the customer use it without having to learn the system or un-learn the previous one
  • understand the natural speak, be it voice or text of the customer with little or no navigation
  • is able to guide the customer through a journey or be completely non-intrusive depending on the technology sophistication or otherwise of the customer
  • can analyze, learn and predict the customer’s intentions and preferences and lead them through those journeys without having to explicitly state that
  • also understands customer sentiments, emotions, moods and inclinations
  • make the customer feel that help is always there at hand and she can reach out anytime without any hesitation or friction
  • itself is learning all the time and using that to better the experience
  • ensures humans can intervene and take control at any point of the interaction and the customer never leaves without a proper solution
  • is cloud native and scale up as your business grows
  • continuously adopt and adapt to new technologies and not become a legacy too soon
  • reduces GTM timelines through faster on-boarding and implementation
  • helps in opening up the institution for collaboration through open APIs and build a strong ecosystem

Today all these technology features can be brought together by institutions across all their platforms, products and solutions to build up a medium to long term enterprise level customer experience platform. For example,

  • The touch points can be through digital channels owned by the banks like internet portal, mobile apps and also extend and reach out through messaging apps like WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Telegram and even smart devices like Alexa and Google Home. Read our section multi-channel for more on how this can be achieved
  • Conversational AI and ML with the latest deep learning algorithms for NLP can bring in all the understanding of the customer speak, even If they are unstructured and in their native languages. It goes beyond just understanding intents and can go on to decipher the moods and sentiments and emotions and expressions through computer vision applied on facial expressions. Some of these may reach a high level of accuracy in the future but the journey has already started.
  • Machine learning and analytics can also be used to enable understanding and predicting customer behavior at an individual level for greater personalization and at an aggregate level for deciding on various promotions for different segments.
  • Low code / no code platforms for designing customer journeys and connecting to digital channels by business users of the institution can make go-to-market a lot faster and less risky. Look for systems that provide a high degree of configuration with visual tools like workflows and templates and drag and drop editors. AI based systems with pre-trained vertical specific user journeys and ontology also makes the whole process of implementation faster and AI accuracy a lot higher from the word go.
  • Open APIs and the ability to collaborate with multiple systems that can help build an ecosystem is a key technology enabler that provides maximum freedom to an enterprise’s customers. It also helps the enterprise be a one-stop-shop by bringing in partner offerings onto their own portals and apps that the customers can buy as a package.
  • Cloud native platforms provide the scalability that is required for an ever-expanding business and elasticity in times of a down-turn. Be it on private cloud or public, this will always help in moving forward. Even when there is a compulsion to implement on-premise, this is a necessity for future-proofing the platform. SAAS offerings can make on-boarding faster and lower the TCO and ensures the latest version is in use. If true SAAS offerings cannot be taken up for internal or regulatory concerns, technologies that can provide usage-based pricing with the option to migrate to the SAAS option can be extremely useful for the institution.

In summary, technology can be a great enabler for customer engagement only if the institution itself has a strong customer focus and aligns its people, culture and processes to provide the best experience. Technologies such as omni-channel reach, AI and ML, open APIs and cloud native platforms can take your customer engagement to a much higher level when they are implemented together coherently.

About the Author

Jaymalya Palit

Jaymalya Palit

Jaymalya Palit (Palit) is an IIT alumni with over 25 years of experience in all aspects of software products starting from product management and strategy to product development, implementation, solution architecting, product marketing and business development. He has been in leadership roles in Infosys Finacle, EdgeVerve and Active.Ai. He has worked extensively with financial services customers across the globe. His current areas of interest are fintech, technology products and start-ups.

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